NEW YORK - Ford Motor Co. and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) said they are coordinating efforts to help prepare the state of New York for the operation of electric vehicles.

Ford and NYPA will work together to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles. They will also share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary demand.  

The collaboration between Ford and NYPA was announced during Ford's "Charging into the Future Electric Vehicle Tour," which visited New York City on Monday, Oct. 4.  The 14-city tour, which kicked off at Portland State University in Portland, Ore., in August, promotes Ford's electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.

"Ford plans on bringing five new electrified vehicles to market over the next two years, including the Transit Connect Electric later this year and the Focus battery electric in late 2011," said Sherif Marakby, director of electrification programs and engineering for Ford Motor Co. "We know there is an incredible excitement for electric vehicles in the New York area and across the country. To support the rollout and acceptance of these vehicles, it is crucial to work with utilities, like NYPA, to make sure the necessary infrastructure is ready."

Cooperation between Ford and NYPA also involves working with the state and local governments to identify the most efficient ways to bring EVs to New York. Ford and NYPA are collaborating to educate fleet owners about their options when it comes to electric vehicles, with NYPA holding a ride-and-drive event at its White Plains administrative office building on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The event was scheduled to provide attendees an opportunity to learn more about electric vehicles and infrastructure needs. There was also an opportunity to drive the Ford Transit Connect Electric, Focus Battery Electric Vehicle and prototype Escape Plug-in Electric.  

"The Power Authority is a leader in helping to introduce electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in the New York metropolitan area and other parts of the state," said NYPA President and CEO Richard M. Kessel. "These electric-drive vehicles are essential to improving energy efficiency, energy security and air quality, and for growing jobs for the economy. For all of these reasons, we're teaming with automobile manufacturers, local and state governments and others to promote wider use of these vehicles, beginning with government vehicle fleets. Ford's new electrified vehicle models will certainly contribute to the efforts."  

Since 1995, NYPA has helped put more than 1,200 electric-drive vehicles on New York state roads. Under its electric transportation program, the Power Authority leverages its funds to help public entities arrange for other government grants in order to acquire electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. These have included vans, buses, trucks, passenger cars and work vehicles.

The collaboration between Ford and the New York Power Authority builds on an existing partnership involving the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle demonstration program.  

Over the next two years, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car, two third-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012).